Outside the venue there is a strong sense of disappointment being shared among metal fans. As if the cancellations of Static-X and headliners Pantera weren’t enough, word is quickly spreading that Sepultura will no longer be performing tonight. Perhaps this sense of disappointment led to the slightly subdued atmosphere, within the crowd and often on stage as well. The line up for this tour has been ever changing due to the tragic events in America last month. Credit has to be given to the organisers, who were obviously determined for the show to go ahead, calling in Skindred to fill in the gaps in the shattered line-up of Tattoo the Planet.

First up is the UK ragga/metal outfit Skindred, which consists of former members from the now defunct band Dubwar. Announced as last minute openers, they do a good job warming up the crowd, making a huge impact on the receptive Scottish audience. The sound, however, is an instant disappointment. Sure, their crossover style is impressive and the songs they perform are very creative, but the infamous tacky SECC sound gets the better of them.

Following Skindred, Raging Speedhorn inject some energy into the proceedings, and as a band who are still receiving some serious hype, mostly give the audience what they expect. Although their efforts are hampered again by the poor sound quality, their on-stage presence is menacing and suitably in your face, Their mix of grinding riffs and chords is a welcome assault on the ears. Frequent tempo changes send bodies flying, creating a lot of energy which singers Frank Regan and John Loughlin absorb. Their dual vocal style seems very natural and the fact that they’ve have been touring hard for the past year reflects in their performance. These months of continuous touring have been in aid of promoting their self titled album which contains the single 'The Gush.'

Next up is Biohazard, who are part of New York City’s notorious hardcore scene. Formed in the late 1980s, their fusion of hardcore metal and rap has paved the way for so many bands around now, namely... Um... Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit. When Biohazard take to the stage they open with the track 'H.F.F.K' from their new album 'Uncivilisation.' This song was undoubtedly a crowd pleaser, the masses straining the words “Hate, Fuck, Fight, Kill” along with the chorus. Their considerably longer set is filled with really solid songs that Biohazard are obviously pleased to be playing. They handle the stage superbly. Singer/bassist Evan Seinfeld launches himself from the monitors to the drum risers, generating a lot of energy. Accept no imitations, these guys are the real deal.

Cradle of Filth’s reputation goes without saying. This band is renowned for their atmospheric stage shows, and perhaps this helps to maintain everybody’s attention when they are playing. As smoke fills the stage and the Synth-string intro is played, there is a certain sense of expectation. A wall of sound suddenly blows everyone away…some as they stand amazed and some to the bar. Everything Cradle played is drowned out by fuzz, which is produced by the heavily distorted guitars. Blocking out the guitar frequency, with a little help from earplugs, tracks like 'From the Cradle to Enslave' and 'Her Ghost in the Fog' are really quite impressive, as is Dani Filth’s vocal range. The frontman produces screeches that range from low guttural roars to a piercing noise that would be as effective as a dog whistle. Respect also has to be given to the drummer who displays immense skills. The intelligent song structures and intricate guitar parts do not, however. come across well at all. Perhaps more than other acts, they are the worst affected by the sound that is encountered by all the bands this evening.

On the scene since 1984 and spanning almost two decades, Slayer has become more of a religion for people than just a band to listen to. When they burst into 'Disciple', the first track on their new album, the crowd goes wild. The Slayer pit is reputedly one of the most violent pits ever and tonight is no exception. Fans of all ages, fuelled by a lethal mix of aggressive metal and punk go absolutely crazy, with classics such as 'Seasons in the Abyss' and 'South of Heaven' being very well received. Every time the spotlight is placed over singer/bassist Tom Araya the fans act like he is a God. Everybody launches their hands up in the air awaiting the frontman’s response. On stage Slayer act like the professionals they are, although at times it all seems to be a bit half hearted. Blistering renditions of 'Stain of Mind' and 'Dittohead' dazzle the audience with the people at the front watching guitarist Kerry King in amazement. Now this guy can play guitar. After the night is brought to an end with the frantic 'Angel of the Death', groups of sweaty bodies pile out the door chanting “Slayer” as loud as they can. The night is definitely enjoyable and a set by the thrash metal giants has made it all worthwhile.

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